Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Update 4/20/10 Day 162

Dear friends,

First of all, thanks for the prayers and kind words after yesterday’s post. I got my gumption back. On Congress St. in Troy this morning, I was reminded of why I’m one of the fortunate ones.

I was asked by the Rensselaer County DA’s office to come to the DWI Crime Victims Memorial Ceremony, which honors the families of those who were killed by drunk drivers in Rensselaer County. My friend Bill Dikant was there, and the names of 3 Dikant’s were on the memorial stone – Bill’s wife, son and daughter. The main speaker lost his daughter 12 years ago by the hand of a drunk driver. I’m telling you pilgrims, this was tough stuff. I got the opportunity to talk to Mr. Bodner and his wife briefly after the program, and the heartbreak is deep and wide. It was only a few short steps up the ladder in my head to the realization that I could have been one of these people. But mine lived. Mine breathe the air of earth and sit at my dinner table and watch corny movies with me. Mine can enjoy the taste of chocolate ice cream and the smell of Coast Guard Beach and the sight of our crab apple tree in full bloom. If mine had died, my heart would be broken. I was spared sorrow upon sorrow. But if I had lost them, I know the Great One would have been there too. His goodness is not held hostage by the dark tragedies of a fallen world. He is in the business of redeeming everything. This isn’t some platitude. In real life God intervenes in the affairs of men. His motive is always good, even if we are too wounded or confused or angry to see it.

“Nothing can alter the character of God. In the course of a human life, tastes and outlook and temper may change radically: a kind, equable man may turn bitter and crotchety: a man of good-will may grow cynical and callous. But nothing of this sort happens to the Creator. He never becomes less truthful, or merciful, or just, or good, than He used to be.” --J.I. Packer

I had a cup of coffee with Bill D. after the event, and he regaled me with wonderful stories of his grandparents (immigrants from Czechoslovakia), and his travels on trains, and his love of a good lobster. I couldn’t help but feel lighter after an hour with him at the East Greenbush Diner. He has paid a heavy price for someone else’s sin. But he didn’t crawl into a hole and die himself. He spends his life as an advocate for justice. How I want to make this trouble count for something good! I am inspired by the overcomers I see all around me. Most of all, I am awed by the One and Only, who hasn’t given up on this upside down world; on the contrary, The Book says “where sin did abound, grace did more abound…” Good thing for me. Crazy, reckless love.

I hope you like the photo of my crab apple tree in full bloom. If only I could blog the smell to you. Remember how beautiful it was covered with snow? I guess every season has its Cinderella dress…

I’m grateful for your prayers. Truly.

Your friend on the pilgrim road,


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